Civil Rights Champions Tatchell & Lycett Put Their Lies & Their Cash on the Line

Latest’s Andrew Kay shares something that exemplifies the extraordinary comedic talent and blistering social conscience of one man, Joe Lycett. There is outrage globally that the World Cup is being held this year in Qatar, a country that is as well known for its appalling human rights record as it is for its wealth. Many voices have been raised in protest that a country that has medieval attitudes towards homosexuality should have been awarded the money spinning privilege of hosting the event, even from within the footballing community. But who will actually put their money where their mouth is. Never afraid to speak his mind, Lycett has become a consumer rights idol, fearless and committed.

The protests have also been led by human rights activist Peter Tatchell who was recently arrested in Qatar and deported to Australia. Last Saturday a rally was held in London at which Tatchell wanted to highlight not only Qatar’s terrible homophobic laws but also other human rights atrocities. First to end the criminalisation, jailing, online entrapment, ‘honour’ killing and forced conversion of LGBT people. Secondly to abolish the male guardian system, whereby women have to get male permission to marry, work, study and travel abroad, and thirdly to compensate the families of dead migrant workers, pay unpaid wages, close overcrowded slum hostels and give workers the right to join a trade union. Tatchell’s commitment to human rights has always gone well beyond LGBTQ+ issues and he has fearlessly put himself in danger over the years.

Protests have taken place outside FIFA’s Zurich headquarters, demands made that Qatar addresses their archaic laws and prejudices but once again it is clearly greed that drives such hypocrisy forward.Beckham, who has historically supported gay fans and players, is reported to be earning as much as £150m as an ambassador for the Qatar World Cup. Does he need to do this and go against his previous track record? If the answer to this is yes then shame on you Mr Beckham, you are a disgrace.

On a high note. Over the weekend, Judas Priest frontman Rob Halford joined Dolly Parton on stage at the 2022 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony to perform the country legend’s iconic song Jolene. Parton was one of this year’s class of inductees, which also included Pat Benatar, Duran Duran, Eurythmics, Lionel Richie, and Carly Simon. Halford, who came out in 1998, received the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame’s Award for Musical Excellence along with his band. Judas Priest defined the sound we know as heavy metal and that sound is unmistakable. “I’m the gay guy in the band,” Halford said in his acceptance speech, to rapturous applause.

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